TAMWORTH AR EXPLORER

AUGMENTED REALITY HERITAGE TRAIL

This year we were tasked with bringing 900 years of history to life using Augmented Reality at Tamworth Castle. In collaboration with This Great Adventure and Tamworth Borough Council, we created an AR heritage trail guiding visitors through the castle, discovering the stories behind the people that once lived there.

HERITAGE STORY TELLING WITH AR

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In responding to COVID-19, Tamworth Castle was seeking to modernise and enhance the ways it engaged with the public and the experiences it offers to visitors.

We were brought on board to create their exciting new AR trail exploring the history of the castle, and the untold stories hidden within its walls. 

Working closely with the expert heritage team at this great adventure, we developed a strong narrative concept that  utilised AR technology to its full potential. 

Recently we are seeing a huge digital transformation within the heritage sectors, which is going to bring with it new and exciting way visitors experience history through out UK. We are already looking forward to the next steps towards augmented story telling, bringing engaging and exciting content to all. 

3D VOLUMETRIC VIDEO WITH DEPTH KIT

For this unique project, we wanted to give as much realism to the characters of the castle as possible to enhance the immersive narrative around the trail. Rather than recording standard 2 dimensional video, we chose to experiment with the latest 3D volumetric video software and technology available to date. 

With Volumetric Video been a relatively new technology, and one yet to be utilised for AR on mobile, we needed to develop a unique workflow to take the 3D clips from camera to app. 

Our solution for the captures was to use a combination of Microsoft Azure cameras with Depth kit Pro capture software.

DEVELOPING FOR AR DURING A PANDEMIC

Placing characters inside a 3D scan of the castle using Unity MARS allowed us position, grade, and add VFX to the AR experience in relation to the real life space. 

This amazing project kicked off in early 2021, during the UK's national Lockdown. With travel limited, the castle closed and our team all working remotely, we needed to evolve and adapt our production work flow to meet this new challenge. 

One of the biggest challenges to overcome would be positioning and testing the AR experience when unable to travel to the castle. Our solution for this came in the form of Unity MARS, a brand new software that brings environment and sensor data into the creative workflow.

 

By capturing lidar scan data of each of the locations around the castle, we were able to bring the 3D environment back to our office. Using MARS to build our AR experience in real time gave us the opportunity to have our characters and objects interact with the physical space of the castle, all while our developers were working safely from home. 

Not only was this work flow wonderfully covid secure, but it allowed us to streamline the project production, saving time and costs on travel to and from Tamworth. It certain that MARS will now become a permanent feature to our production workflow on all AR projects going forward, and we look forward to seeing how else AR solutions can develop to meet the challenges of this ever changing world.